Archive | March 2009

Going in for the kill…

Don't throw eggs at John...

Don't throw eggs at John...

No, not the unstoppable right hook courtesy of  John Precott (who has clearly been inspired by Obama, given his recent impressive utilisation of the full 2.0 arsenal in order to resurrect his political stature), I am referring to this summers predicted unstoppable musical force, La Roux…

The ‘lets get ravey’ version of La Rouxs’ ‘Going in for the kill’ track is a must for any dance music aficionado’s that spent their weekends in the 90’s having it large.

And even though New Labour have been slow to mobilise themselves digitally, Prezzas blog is worth a punt ( if you get time). His facebook status updates are also genius!

Enjoy…

Iain Morrison is a senior marketer in the British Tourism Industry. And is currently practising his big fish, little fish, culminating in a rather nifty cardboard box…

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Bud anyone?

american beauty anyone?

American beauty anyone?

So, the agency behind some of Budweisers’ most famous work (featuring the croaking frogs) has been axed.

Annheuser-Busch InBev(the parent company) has reviewed its roster of agencies (including DDB Chicago), specifically focusing on how they are paid.

Surprise surprise, they’re now favouring project fees, as opposed to ‘expensive’ retainers. The key sting in the tail however; it will now pay a set fee for specific projects (regardless of whether they take longer than previously agreed)…

There are clear arguments for an against retainers. An good agency on retainer is worth its weight in gold.

The agency can then enter into a real strategic partnership with the brand ,which really allows it to own the schedule of work. In theory, the agency grows with the brand (the brands successes being their successes), its stewards steering the brand through good times and bad. If they are lucky, the agency can become an extension of the brands own marketing department. 

An agency on a project by project basis throws resource at your brand in concentrated bursts, and never really gets under the skin of what’s required (massive oversimplification, I’ll do a proper essay type blog on this one sometime soon!). And if the project fee is fixed, they have a difficult choice; burn whatever hours are required to get the job done (and hopefully win more business), or do the bear minimum to get the work out the door…

What this does reflect however, is the need for agencies and brands to sit down, and comprehensively review how agencies are remunerated for their efforts.

The current agency payment model is outdated, rarely fit for purpose, and I predict we’ll see nothing but more high profile agency losses month after month as the recession bites, and procurement departments do what procurement departments do…

Iain Morrison is a senior marketer in the British Tourism Industry. And whilst I’m not a big fan of the Louie the Lizard campaign, you can’t deny it did the job it needed to for the brand…

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Empire of the sun…

OTT?

OTT?

No, not the 1987 Spielberg movie (with Christian Bale, John Malkovich and Miranda Richardson.

EOTS are a new(ish) band on the scene.

They are an Aussie duo (that visually would appear to be somewhat keen on Siegfried and Roy), and they have just brought us the album ‘Walking on a Dream’.

Empire of the Sun clearly draw from a raft of musical influences but think Bowie / Scissor Sisters through a Vaseline smeared lens, and you aren’t too far off…

Enjoy!

Iain Morrison is a senior marketer in the British Tourism Industry. And would strongly encourage you to buy this album.

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The last Dalek

EXTERMINATE!!!

EXTERMINATE!!!

OK, so I am a bit of a Dr. Who fan…

When they aren’t running one of the biggest websites this side of the pond, Auntie occasionally do some quite cute stuff to promote their shows.

This little platform game supported an episode of Doctor Who that aired a few years ago. Handily, its still lurking around…

It was for the episode where the Doctor and Rose found the ‘Last Dalek’ , and the game itself is nicely done. Very playable, and encouraged additional exposure to the brand pre and post airing.

The Beeb were well ahead of Channel 4 doing this type of stuff (although the did it very successfuly for The Bow street runners, the game is well worth a look too).

Well done the Beeb. And roll on the new Doctor…

Iain Morrison is a senior marketer in the British Tourism Industry. And was never scared by the Daleks when he was younger. Twas the Cybermen that made me hide behind the sofa!

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Growing pains…

growing pains are never easy...

growing pains are never easy...

So, twitter is growing up. And Facebook is preparing to fight back…

We had the ‘first love’ moment, when Facebook courted Twitter. They danced round each other, the future looked rosy. Then, they tweeted off their separate ways…

We had the onset of puberty when charging business users was floated. It went down very badly…

Immediate statements to the contrary were hastily issued. On top of this, Facebook has decided its time to fight back. It doesn’t like twitter cannibalising what it sees as its web traffic. So a more tweet like ‘real time’ changes are expected to be rolled out across facebook shortly…

And now, the growing pains really kick in. Desparate to monetise the site and find a model that works for them, Twitter plod on. However, some good news came their way today.

Omniture have rather handily announced it has added a feature to its web analytics product that allows marketers to measure brand activity on twitter.

This feature will allow marketers to take advantage real-time, making it possible to send emails or SMS messages to mobile devices based on pre-determined criteria (e.g. a massive spike in brand related terms).

Great in moments of PR crisis. This will no doubt split opionion of the tweeters, but for now, great news for marketers…

Iain Morrison is a senior marketer in the British Tourism Industry. And can be found tweeting if you go a hunting for @igmorrison

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Ryanair 1.0

ryanair

Many brands (and marketers) struggle to grapple with the true reality of digital marketing. 

In a landscape that’s ever changing, with technology improving daily, consumers constantly seeking our new and exciting ways to interact with each other (and manage their relationships with brands), the pace of development to some can be daunting. To others, exhilarating…

For any of you reading this that work in marketing and feel as though you could do with dusting down your digital skill set, head over to the IAB  (Internet Advertising Bureau) who run some great seminars and training courses to help brand owners (and agencies) deal with the ever changing playing field. Best part, is they are free to advertisers and members…

One marketing department that could do with popping over for tea and biscuits with the chaps over at the IAB is Ryanair, who have two big negative PR stories in the press this week. A ‘so what’ for brands under the old rules, but as we know, the old rules of brand management no longer apply…

One Jason Roe (a web developer by trade), put a post on his blog claiming he’d found a way to cheat certain pricing elements on the Ryanair website.

The following chain of events could be categorised as unfortunate, but they do clearly demonstrate how certain brands simply do not understand how to engage with their customers in a relevant and meaningful way in the digital space.

As yet unnamed Ryanair staff responded (quite negatively) to his blog post. This included calling him a liar, telling him they could hack his site and do what they wanted with it, the list goes on.

Not the most customer friendly response…

In the olden days we had the old adage of a good experience being shared with two or three close friends, and a bad experience being shared by eight or nine. These days however, the potential for an irate customers to spread the word are almost infinite.

After being picked up in the press, the official Ryanair response was;

‘Ryanair can confirm that a Ryanair staff member did engage in a blog discussion. It is Ryanair policy not to waste time and energy corresponding with idiot bloggers and Ryanair can confirm that it won’t be happening again’.

Again, a clear demonstration that the brand ands its stewards do not understand the potential of the web, and the damage just a few individuals can very quickly wreak on the brand.

What started as an innocent blog post first set the blogosphere alight.

It was then picked up by the press, the fallout from the official response picking up even more column inches. All the while there are tweets a plenty, facebook on fire. The list goes on, all adding fuel to the fire…

The blog was the tip of the iceberg.

As this grew, the negative perception of the brand travelled at speed with it. Jason’s blog alone has 450 comments at last count. Now, factor in the way this has travelled across the social networks, email, the wider media.

The potential for this single negative brand experience to be swiftly shared with many and prolong the damage to the brand is truly enormous. We’re certainly talking a lot more than the eight or nine people we used to share a negative experience with in the ‘good old days’.

Smart brands engage. Provide a forum where irate customers can vent. But what separates the wheat from the chaff? The brands that use that very forum as a space to deal with the issues presented.

Turning that negative into a positive, ensuring angry consumers don’t ‘do a Jason Roe’, instead re-invigorating their love for your brand / product, ensuring they remain a true brand ambassador. And preferably spreading the good word.  

With a little careful management and a considered response from HQ, this could have been dealt with very, very quickly.

However, it was closely followed up with the negative press surrounding the possibility of people having to spend £1.00 to use Ryanairs’ onboard toilets.

Another PR clanger.

And as such, the Jason Roe story rumbles on, all the while leaving the hangar doors open to more negative brand exposure. I think it’s fair to say this hasn’t been the best week for Ryanair…

Iain Morrison is a senior marketer in the British Tourism Industry. Whilst his personal views don’t reflect that of his organisation, I can’t imagine there are too many of us out there keen to spend a pound in order to spend a penny.

Idiot blogger signing off… 

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